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MADD honors officers with highest drunken driving arrests

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 9:56 p.m. HST, May 25, 2011

MADD Hawaii recognized several Honolulu police officers Tuesday night for their efforts to curb drunken driving on Oahu roadways.

Waldron Chung, an officer for nine years, works in the Traffic Division, catching drunken drivers and speeders on the freeways and major roadways of Oahu. MADD awarded him for making 108 drunken driving arrests in 2010. 

That was about 31 arrests more than the next highest Traffic Division officer, a night solo bike officer who also received an award.

"I don't keep track," Chung said after the award ceremony at Servco Auto Honolulu in Mapunapuna. "Maybe it's the area we patrol. I don't work any harder than anybody else in the department."

Cpl. Chad Giesseman had the most DUI arrests in the police force for the second year in a row and possibly the highest number of arrests in the department. He made 135 drunken driving arrests and 91 moving violation arrests in 2010. In 2009, he topped the department in drunken driving arrests with 166.

MADD awarded Giesseman with the individual outstanding service award and the unit outstanding service award.

Giesseman, who will make his 16th year in the force this year, covers the first watch from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m., patrolling sector 4 of district 1, the area boarded by Piikoi Street, Kapiolani Boulevard, Keeaumoku Street, and H-1 freeway.

He attributed his high arrest numbers to the activity in his sector, the scene of several nightclubs, restaurants, and bars. He also credited his team and his sergeant, Albert Lee, whom he described as a "working sergeant."

"It's kind of hard not to work when you have a supervisor like that," he said. "You don't want to see your supervisor work harder than you."

When pressed, Giesseman said his ability to make so many arrests may be because he can process the arrests quickly and get back on the road to handle other situations. Some officers may dislike handling drunken driving arrests because one could take several hours for an inexperienced officer, he said.

"The amount of time it takes dealing with intoxicated people, it's not exceedingly fun," he said.

Honolulu Traffic Maj. Kurt Kendro said: "It's a testament to his hard work and dedication."

Mary Tyner, whose husband was killed in a crash by an alleged drunken driver on the H-1 freeway on March 31, attended the ceremony with her daughter Malia, 23, to show their appreciation of the Police Department and to fight drunken driving.

"It's my hope that something can be done to eliminate drunk driving," she said. "Life is precious. It's not worth the risk." 

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